Cognitive Science, in all its guises, has not yet accorded any fundamental importance to the social dimension of human cognition. In order to illustrate the possibilities that have not so far been developed, this article seeks to pursue the idea, first put forward by Durkheim, that the major categories which render conceptual thought possible may actually have a social origin. Durkheim illustrated his thesis, convincingly enough, by examining the societies of Australian aborigines. The aim here is to extend this idea to cover the case of the conceptual categories underpinning modern Western science, as they developed historically first in Ancient Greece, and then at the Renaissance. These major non-empirical concepts include those of abstract Space (Euclidean space, perfectly homogeneous in all its dimensions); abstract Time (conceived as spatially linearized, with the possibility of imaginatively going back and forth); and a number of canonical logical categories (equality, abstract quantity, essential versus accidental properties, the continuous and the discontinuous, the transcendental…). Sohn-Rethel (1978) has proposed that the heart of the conceptual categories in question is to be found in an analysis of the exchange abstraction. This hypothesis will be fleshed out by examining the co-emergence of new social structures and new forms of conceptual thought in the course of historical evolution. This includes the Renaissance, which saw the emergence of both Capitalism and Modern Science; and on the contemporary situation, where the form of social life is dominated by financial speculation which goes together with the advent of automation in the processes of production. It is concluded that Cognitive Science, and in particular the nascent paradigm of Enaction, would do well to broaden its transdisciplinary scope to include the dimensions of sociology and anthropology.